WhiteMoon Dreams, the developers behind PSVR arena shooter StarBlood Arena (2017), released a statement recently bidding farewell to its community. Earlier this year, the studio announced that their online-only game would be going dark; the official date for server shutdown is Thursday, July 25th.

A studio spokesperson took to Reddit late last week to offer a final goodbye and to assemble the game’s ultimate ‘Wednesday Night Wars’, a weekly call to the game’s playerbase to meet up and populate the servers every Wednesday.

Here’s an excerpt from what will likely be the studio’s last StarBlood Arena communiqué:

Of course this farewell hurts, but there’s some solace we can take in knowing that we’ve made so many friends – as have our players. I’m talking about lifelong bonds that you can’t quantify with sales figures or DAU analytics. I’ve received text messages with photos of SBA players meeting up in real life and heard stories of our players banding together during tough personal tragedies in life. Hell, I even had the entire community comfort me when I lost my dog and my favorite aunt in the same day, which for the record sucks and 10/10 would not play again. Point being, it’s very sad that we are sun setting, BUT the love in our hearts for each other and this game can’t ever be taken from us. Hey I feel kinda like I’m giving a Braveheart speech here.

Anyway, next Wednesday, please go fucking CRAZY. Play as much as you can, this is the final WnW. The flier says it starts at 6pm PST, but that’s more to pay homage to the tradition of the usual start time of the event – so play as much as you can before we go to bed. The event ends when the servers go down because the party don’t stop and such.

Before the game’s total shutdown, the studio had proposed the idea to the game’s publisher Sony of possibly including an offline mode that would populate the game with bots, however the same spokesperson says that the decision ultimately was rejected.

“Trust me, that’s what we’ve been fighting for, I get where you’re coming from,” the spokesperson said, answering a community question about the possibility of an offline mode.

StarBlood Arena first launched in April 2017 to a decidedly less than energetic reception. Like many online-only VR games, it struggled to gain the critical mass of players, which invariably led to a vicious cycle of low engagement levels and poor hourly user counts.

Before StarBlood Arena, WhiteMoon Dreams partnered with Private Press Interactive to launch a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund non-VR title Warmachine: Tactics (2014), which garnered the studios over $1.5 million in backer funds. Most recently the studio released Super Life of Pixel (2018), a retro side-scroller for console and PC.

Although WhiteMoon hasn’t released any specific further plans to work in VR, the studio concluded the statement above by saying “Goodnight my sweet starbabies. We’ll be back.”

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  • Jarilo

    Ouch, well the online only multiplayer genre is the most crowded with content in VR at the moment and competitive with players always moving up to new games. This was an exclusive to one platform. If you want to add SP to your MP game down the line you can get rejected by Sony? Pathetic, this probably means any form of community hosting their own servers like games could on PC is out of the question.

  • Pablo C

    Well, no surprises here. Most multiplayer-only games for VR are effectively dead after one year. I bet this one was already dead for some time. What amazes me, is that it wasn’t free. It actually costs quite a bit. I hope this teaches developers to include always SP campaigns, and consumers not to buy new MP-only games.

    • Jistuce

      At the very least, multiplayer games that allow the players to host their own servers. You can keep playing after official support ends. Just ask the Quake III fans.

      Of course, I’ve seen games with robust singleplayer modes that went down when the servers died because they were built as online-only games for no good reason.

      • Popin

        Like all the “Games for Windows Live” games. I’m not inherently opposed to online-only games, however, this is a prime example of why people will balk at such games, especially from developers and/or publishers with a poor track record of sustaining these types of games. If a developer chooses to do this, it would be beneficial if they at minimum provide a lifecycle plan that includes an end of life plan to support private servers.

  • dogtato

    If something sucks I usually give it 0/10. Maybe this game was actually really successful but the dev interpreted all the positive reviews as negative.